When I was about 15 I started writing romantic fiction. It was somewhat unexpected since I don’t think I had really even kissed a boy at that point, but my heart was pure and my pen was willing.
It started slowly enough with me writing using characters for my favorite television show at the time, Remington Steele. Since Laura wasn’t putting out in that show, I didn’t have to stress myself with trying to come up with lurid details. Essentially, I was writing “Hollywood Movie Sex” full of longing, glances filled with something potent, yet indefinable, heartbreak and love—always love, never lust.
As I began to explore the mysteries of the hidden romantic world of my imagination, my friends were forced to come along for the ride. I learned to pay attention to structure (which I’ve since abandoned) and try for useful spelling tips (remember—no spell check back in the day). I found spelling to be almost as important as a solid story at one point. After all “striking a chord within her” and “striking a cord within her” are actually two very different things—and one is much harder to explain.
At some point, my friends wanted me to start writing for them and particularly men. Movie starts, the guy at the mall, the person they were actually dating—it really didn’t matter. And since I was still in the “wayward crest of rippling undulations” stage, it never landed in the “too much information” side of the experience.
I’m not sure why I stopped writing. Perhaps the novelty had worn off, or perhaps I was too busy to focus anymore (a trend that has remained with me), but the entire exercise lasted mere months.
Well, it took a couple of decades, but I think “rippling undulations” is making a comeback.
It started as a joke. A friend wrote to me and said, “Tell me about that time we met ____”. Rather than just laughing and saying, “That was a great day”, I started writing a story. I think it amounted to no more than 2 or 3 sentences. She was amused, and has now challenged me to add a sentence every morning. I have no doubt the people at work monitoring our emails will be enthralled.
I think I missed my calling. It may be time to just go with all my worst tendencies and best inclinations. My fictional encounters with men are bound to be more entertaining than my real life ones, right? Right? Anyone? Ahem.
So, look out world—purple prose through a soft focus lens may be headed your way very soon.
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